Padraig Harrington said he is “not the fuzzy, cuddly type” and will look to follow Bernhard Langer’s style of leadership when he captains Europe at the 2020 Ryder Cup.
Three-time major champion Harrington will lead Europe at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin next year, succeeding Thomas Bjorn having served as one of the Dane’s vice-captains for September’s emphatic European success at Le Golf National.
Harrington, 47, was a Ryder Cup winner in four of his six appearances as a player while he was a vice-captain in 2014 and 2016, as well as 2018.
Having worked under a host of captains before, Harrington admitted he is most likely to resemble Langer, who led Europe to a comprehensive victory over the United States in 2004.
“I will definitely take bits from all of them,” Harrington told a news conference.
“I can go back as far as Sam Torrance and Woosie [Ian Woosnam], who were very emotional, put their arm around your shoulder and made you believe that they believed in you. They gave you tremendous confidence.
“I have played under many wonderful European captains since I made my debut 20 years ago and I would like to think that my captaincy will be a mix of all of them. I’m very much looking forward to taking on this role.”#TeamEurope #Harrington2020 pic.twitter.com/xTqTzOcKtC
— Ryder Cup Europe (@RyderCupEurope) January 8, 2019
“But I also played under Bernhard Langer, who was like a school teacher. Bernard did get involved, he would get on the tee box and tell you what clubs to hit.
“I remember getting scalded on one of the team meetings for laying up into a hazard. To be honest, if I look at all of this, I’m not the fuzzy, cuddly type either so I might be more on the Bernhard Langer-style of things.
“But then you learn from Monty [Colin Montgomerie], who gathered the best of everything that had gone before and put it together.
“Paul McGinley took it to a new level, no doubt about that, in pre-match organisation. Paul certainly put more into that two years before than anyone else had before. That’s a requirement now.”
The United States have won just one of the previous five Ryder Cups since 2008, but Harrington admits that the 2016 loss at Hazeltine, when he was one of Clarke’s deputies, will also stand him in good stead.
“It’s close on 18 months to go, it really is a full-time job, the Ryder Cup, trying to get everything in preparation,” Harrington added.
“As I would have seen, Paul’s went very well, he was very organised and it really did go smoothly. Darren was very organised and it didn’t go smoothly. There was a curveball and you probably would learn most in that match because a lot of decisions were coming in retrospect and it was just difficult.
“We were always playing catch up, we were playing a great team, so you learn a lot in adversity.”